Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Organize Your Spending to Reduce Stress


It's a new year. Are you comfortable with your money income/outgo? Are you a bit nervous because you sense all is not right but you are not sure exactly why or how much? Make a plan for this year to be more organized and under control.

Develop a vision of how you want this year to look and feel. Make some notes. It could look like:
  • I want to be confident that my money will last until the end of the month.
  • When I make a fun purchase, I want to be sure that I won't regret it later.
  • I want to know that if something breaks or goes wrong, it won't devastate my finances.
Next brainstorm all that you can do to make this happen. Some ideas are:
  • I will track everything I spend - even that cup of coffee during break.
  • I will group my costs - car, food, housing, clothing, entertainment, gifts - and see how I am spending my money.
  • I will use my calendar to note when each monthly bill comes due and the approximate cost.
  • I will set aside in envelopes the amount of cash I plan to use for the month on items like groceries, entertainment, gifts.
Once you have developed your brainstorm list, set yourself a timeline. You may give yourself a year to develop a good budget plan, but also plan some benchmarks along the way. Set dates to call phone companies or cable and try to find ways to reduce the cost. Set dates to call or write your creditors if you would like to have specific due dates that fit in with the dates you receive your income. Note what months you will spend extra because of holidays or birthdays and then develop a plan to put back some each month in advance for these occasions.

Once you have a handle on where and when you spend and on how much you spend each month, develop your budget. Then track. You will know if in any month more goes out than comes in.

Now all you have to do is maintain that spread sheet or budget. Once you know exactly what is going on, you will feel more in control and have less stress.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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